Greyhounds and Bearcats split water polo

Boys win big, girls lose

PASO ROBLES — It was announced on Monday morning that the first league game within the Mountain League for both the Greyhounds and the Bearcats would be moved from Atascadero High School to the Municipal Pool in Paso Robles due to problems with the pool at Atascadero. Athletic Director Sam DeRose told the Atascadero News that the pool would be fixed by Wednesday.

The news came just a day before the game was to be played, but certainly played a factor in the matches on Tuesday. This is the first season that Central Coast schools have both girls and boys water polo in the fall and thus brought out many more fans as the varsity games were played back to back.

It was a day filled with water polo for those who stayed for all four games, the junior varsity boys played at 3 p.m., the varsity boys played at 4 p.m., the girls varsity started after the boys and the JV girls followed suit. The boys won each of their games with the varsity winning big, 10-3, and the girls dropped both of their games with the varsity falling 16-1.

“Well, our pool breaks down a lot so we kind of have a backup at Kennedy in Atascadero,” AHS boys water player Colby VanHousen said. “Sure it sucks that we don’t get our full practice in, but we’re still a team and we like to play as a team, that's why we try to do as much as we can outside of practice.”

As fans might expect, with four Bearcats versus Greyhounds games in order on the same day, there was not a parking spot to be found at the Municipal pool in Paso and it was even harder to find a good seat.

While the boys won big, they did not start off the game the way they would have liked.

“For my expectations, the first quarter, I think we were a little late on plays,” AHS head coach Jon Conrad said. “We didn’t come out as sharp as I would have hoped. Paso got at us first, we got the first shot, but they got the first goal. So kudos to them, they really stepped up and played well in their own pool.”

The Bearcats’ third leading scorer from a year ago, Tre Eade, was able to score the game's first goal three minutes in and then senior goalie Dante Donati held the Bearcats scoreless until the end of the quarter and Noah Meade shut them out in the second.

“That is kind of how we play,” Donati said. “The first quarter is maybe, not great, but, you know, we play our hearts out for the rest of the game.”

After the first quarter, the Hounds controlled the game and the pace of play and really flipped a switch at both ends of the pool and were led offensively by VanHousen and Wyatt Marshall who each registered three and two goals respectively.

“They [Marshall and VanHousen] are definitely two of many [goal scorers],” Conrad said. “I mean, honestly, all six guys that I start can score goals, all of them. And Colby, I was really proud of his game, he played smart and got some great shots off.  Wyatt is definitely someone that can help run our offense, he is very smart with the ball and I think once we kind of fine tune some things, you will see even more boys start to shine.”

With the 13-3 victory, the boys are 1-0 on the season and 1-0 in league.

Quickly after the conclusion of the boys game, the AHS girls were in the pool with new head coach Rob Rucker who took over on July 31, the position was previously held by Conrad when water polo was divided into two different seasons.

The Greyhounds girls team is young this year and this was their first live action of the season and, at times, it showed. Covenversly, Paso Robles has a very experienced team this year and has already played a game this season against Santa Maria.

“With the new construction of the league, it is tough when the first game of the year is against your rivals,” Rucker said. “It adds extra nerves to the mix, the fact that they think they are going to play at home until yesterday they find out that now they are traveling. So, you just add a lot more things and they didn’t come out as sharp as I would have liked them too but every time you can touch the ball you learn something from it.”

Atascadero was able to hold their own for the most part but did not know how to handle the Bearcats’ Tatiana Smeltzer who scored eight goals, including five in the first half.

Christina Mansir scored the Greyhounds’ lone goal in the third quarter.

Both teams will be back in action again on Wednesday when they travel south to take on Nipomo High School.


© 2019-Atascadero News

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